TRA Slates Information Session for Head Starters

Edited press release

The Thoroughbred Racing Associations will host a one-day meeting for head starters April 11 at Keeneland in Lexington. The meeting will provide a forum for the discussion of issues, as well as the exchange of ideas and best practices, for head starters and will be complemented by the perspectives of jockeys, trainers, and track management.

The meeting will begin in the morning with a practical on-track overview of the starting gate, with an emphasis on padding and other safety concerns with the gate itself. The on-track session will lead to indoor discussion for the remainder of the day, first with a panel of jockeys providing their preferences and concerns while at the gate. The discussion will include feedback from the attendees on what can be done to address riders' concerns.

The morning discussions will conclude with the topic of morning schooling, reviewing the importance of morning schooling, its logistics, and horse-handling methods.

Afternoon topics will focus on safety, with a discussion that will include safety equipment and practices.

A less formal discussion will focus on anecdotal instances that have tested starters in the face of adversity. The topic of trouble at the gate at crunch time also will fill some of the afternoon's discussion and provide some tips for attendees on how to react in pressure situations.

The meeting will conclude with a planning discussion on how the level of communication between starters across the country can be increased. It will be a free-forum idea session with potential outcomes being computer mailing lists as well as a database for starters.

Registration is free to all TRA-member racetracks. For more information on registration, contact the TRA at 410-392-9200.